Bill de Blasio, the Democratic shoo-in for mayor of New York, is already getting star treatment from the Democratic party. He appeared alongside President Obama Tuesday night at a party fundraiser in Manhattan.
Obama introduced de Blasio “as your next mayor,” at the family-oriented Democratic National Committee event at the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue.
De Blasio's son, Dante, even drew a compliment from Obama, who said he had the same hairdo he did back in 1978.
“Although I have to confess, my afro was never that good,” he said to laughter.
De Blasio, 52, the city's public advocate, is more than 40 percentage points ahead of his Republican opponent, Joseph Lhota, who ran the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and was a top aide to former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
De Blasio “is going to continue to move New York in a direction where everybody has a chance to get ahead,” Obama told the crowd of roughly 250 people.
Obama had spent the day in New York at the United Nations general assembly, speaking on Iran and Syria, and later promoting his signature health care law at the Clinton Global Initiative, a charitable group created by former President Bill Clinton.
During his remarks at the fundraiser, Obama said “we live in such a challenging time,” noting crises in Syria and the difficulty in making sure Iran's nuclear program is not weaponized “in a way that threatens the region.”
But he also described the country as moving in the right direction, highlighting the Oct. 1 roll-out of his health care law.
“What you see is a country that's becoming more tolerant, a country that's becoming more inclusive, a country that understands there's no contradiction between growing the economy and conserving the planet for the next generation,” he said.
“We see a nation that in a few weeks is finally going to be in a position to make sure that every single person in America can get affordable health care when they need it,” he said to applause.